Send a chicken to An African women- new additions

In my last post about this program, I told you about my visit with the women in May.   Two months after I left news of new additions to the program reached me.

In the last update the women were grappling with the impact of avian flu on the egg market and rather than sell the eggs for very little money, the women decided to keep the eggs and figure out how to hatch them. 

 The women have let all their hens go free range, in turn this fooled the hens into seating on their eggs. 

The results have been amazing. This has meant new additions to the original number of  chicks we gave the women and the start of scaling up of these micro chicken farms. 

new additions
Christine

The best performer so far is Christine. She had three cocks that she sold and bought a couple of goats. This will enable her to take part in our goat cross breeding program and therefore enable her to access goat milk as part of her diet.

Christine stopped selling her eggs as she was only getting £1.90 per tray of 30 eggs. She has started selling tow month old chicks at £2.15 and she earned £17.20 from the sale of 8 chicks. 

Christine had zero income at the start of the program and lived off the land and as such £17.20 is a a fortune. This is equivalent to what a teacher would earn at a local school would earn in two months.  

additions

Jadress Kabiga has  new additions to her micro farm too. I was surprised to learn that she has 16 one month old chicks from the eggs of two hens.

Jadress’ chickens and some of the new additions. 

This is Sylvia who we told you about earlier in the year. She  is still collecting eggs as well as
hatching. She has 5 three week old chicks that she will sell at two months. Two months is the age at which a chick is deemed able to adapt to a new environment.

This was a new program for us, and we are very pleased with the impact it is having on women’s livelihoods. We are grateful to our friends and supporters who have made this possible, 

Pig farming- a new project for ultra poor women

A few weeks ago we added pig farming to our range of livelihood programmes for ultra poor women in Ntungamo district. Through this program, we provide women with an asset as well as training. these are women without capital to start enterprises and the asset we provide enables the women to generate income as well as build capital for reinvestment . 

In the latest project, a group of 20 widows have been provided with a  two-month old pig to look after until it gives birth to the first set of piglets. At that stage the Sow as well as two piglets will become the property of the woman to enable her to grow a micro pig farm from which she can generate an income as well as well as improve the diet of her family.

 

These are the women that are currently enrolled on the pig project.
 

The women were given a piglet of the Cambarough pig breed. This breed is reportedly very good at looking after its young and  for littering up to 14 piglets from one pregnancy. This means that a woman can grow her micro farm quickly. 

Distribution  day- I am told that this was a fun day as of the piglets attempted to run away having been contained on the truck for an hour. 

The women were also given commercial feed for the piglet to enable them to settle into their new homes

pig
Crossbreed piglets

Some of the women were given this type of piglet, which is a cross breed of a local boar and the Landrace pig.  This was a good outcome for the local man who bred them. He was given the Sow as a present by someone who had a similar objective  to us- giving an asset that the recipient can use to generate an income.

This local man earned £120 by selling 9 two month old piglets into the project. This is not a great deal of money to most in the West, but for someone that had no income at all, this is a fortune.

For our part, it was a pleasure to contribute to this man’s livelihood as  well as enabling these piglets to remain in the environment they are familiar with and we hope that, they will thrive as a result. 

pig
Local carpenter working on the pig sty

As well as working with the women on setting up these micro pig farms, we have set up a stand alone pig farm. This will enable us to provide piglets to the wider community without the need to raise more money. 

This is the completed pig sty. We sourced all the materials from local suppliers and used local labour. 

 

 

pig

The pigs move in. We have started off with 4 6 and 7 month old pigs and all being well, we will have our first baby pigs in December.

Send a chicken 2- We have eggs

If you are a regular here, you will recall that following the success of the first micro poultry program called Send a Chicken to African woman we launched a second program in December of last year. 

Send a chicken
Syliva Nahurira

This second program has been a challenge in ways that we never expected. The first challenge was to do with very heavy rain that meant that the women found it hard to keep the chicks warm. The second challenge was avian flu.

As a result of these challenges, some of the chicks  died leaving the women with roughly 8 chicks out of 15 and the price of eggs fell as nearby countries  stopped buying eggs from Uganda. 
send a chicken

Notwithstanding those challenges, the women have now started selling the eggs from the project and on average they are earning £1.66 per tray. In Uganda a tray of eggs is  made up of 30 eggs and the women are collecting unto 8 eggs a day.  We would ordinarily expect a tray of eggs to sell at £2.60 but for the problems mentioned above. 

But we still have some good news.

send a chicken

For instance Dezranta Nyakato, a 59 year old woman is currently earning  £3.32 a week from selling eggs. She used to earn 51p a week prior to joining this initiative.

Our initial aim for her, was to increase her income to £1.75 a week as it is the income a woman in her village needs to send three kids to school per  term and feed her family. This has exceeded our expectations and for that we are truly grateful for your support.

I caught up withe women at the end of May and most reported that they were very happy to have eggs to sell as they had no income prior to taking part in this program and also  as part of their diet. Whilst here in the West we are discouraged from eating too many eggs, in villages such as Rwentojo, an egg as part of one’s diet is a real luxury.

The next steps are an experiment to see if the women can hatch chicks from this breed of chickens. This is because this is not ordinarily possible without an incubator but it is apparently  achievable if the hens go from a semi intensive program to a full free range feeding program.  Some amongst the women already have their hens on a full free range program whilst some don’t. 

 

Keep an eye on this space for updates. 

Rwentojo chicken program: The chickens are here

Following the inspection of chicken coops, it was time to bring the chicks home to Rwentojo.

send a chicken

This is always an exciting time. The chicks are two months old and at this  age it is easy for anyone without prior experience of poultry farming to look after them. 

For this round of the program, we reduced the number of participants and increased the number of chicks per participant.

The village Chairman  was part of the house to house assessments  to introduce us. He did a preselection of the women who are head of households in his village – most of them are widows but there are some who apparently cannot rely on their husbands either because they’re never around or they’re alcoholics.

 

We are keen on investing in women in this part of the country as most  have no  assets that would enable them to generate income. 

Rwentojo

The next steps will involve monitoring the farms to ensure that the women are looking after the chicks properly as this has implications for how well develop into hens.

The women will receive training on how to vaccinate the chicks, book keeping and marketing. 

Watch this space for updates in the New Year. 

Update on the Rwentojo chicken program

As we count down to the distribution day our Program Managers have been busy getting the women in Rwentojo ready. There have been several training sessions, coop construction and inspection and a lots of laughter along the way. Here are some pics from those activities. 

chicken

In this session, the women learned about chicken feeding and farm management, in particular the importance of keeping the coops clean and dry

carpenter at work
Our local carpenter has been very busy. he has had to measure the coops and make up doors for each one from scratch  

chicken coop door

Following the training session, the doors to the chicken coops were distributed

chicken

Here is one of the finished chicken coops.. I bet they had fun putting this together.


Under a semi intensive poultry farming system, water is an important aspect in the care of the chickens, so drinkers are part of the equipment the women need on their farms

send a chicken

We expect that it will be 5 months before the hens start laying eggs and as such the women will not have sufficient income to feed the chicks before then. We have therefore included three months’ chickenfeed.

Send a chicken Phase 2 gets under way

Following the success of  the first round SEND A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN we have  launched phase 2.

One of the lessons from phase 1 was that covering more than one village cell at a time was a strain on resources. For this reason, we are focusing on the village of Rwentojo. We will also have fewer participants and more chickens.

Selecting participants

Our Project Managers worked with the village Chairman on identifying and interviewing. His preselected group included women who are head of households in his village such as widows  as well as those who apparently cannot rely on their husbands either because they’re never around or are  alcoholics.

It was interesting to note that some women excluded themselves from the project because they felt they could not give it their full commitment, whilst some worried about being able to provide materials for constructing chicken coops.

Our Project Managers were surprised by some of the women’s reactions and had this to say,

For once, it was so refreshing in a way to realise that people are not just willing to take things for free just cause someone is offering them but instead they are already thinking of the challenges they may face. This shows: a higher level of commitment and willingness only to join if they believe they are capable of committing to the project and in this case taking good care of the chickens; that they’re not used to getting things for free; and that they do really need the help we will be providing them. 

In fact, one of them has told us we should leave her out as she spends most of her time digging (for others) and collecting fibres and grasses to weave baskets… We tried to convince her but she told us she would not forgive herself if any of her chickens died…It is a real shame as she could really use the help!

About some of the interviewees

Send A chicken

Jovlet, she’s a 46 year-old widow who works other people’s land to get an income. She has 6 children but 4 of them already dropped out of school as she could not afford to continue paying school fees for them.

Send a chicken 

Anna, she’s a 40 year old widow who has 3 children and makes her monthly income selling sugar canes in a small trading centre

send a chicken

Sylvia, a mother of 5 and one more on the way. She’s married but her husband spends most of the money he makes burning charcoal on alcohol especially a local gin called Waragi 

Send a chicken

Topista, a 50 year-old widow who lives with two of her grandchildren. She spends her days digging and collecting fibres and grass to weave baskets. She doesn’t think she will be able to join the project as she will not have enough time to take care of the chickens. 

send a chicken

Mariserina, a 40 year-old widow, who has 3 children one of whom is disabled. She is a coffee farmer and uses the income to pay her children’s fees. She is also a casual labourer on other people’s farms. 

Os, Annet and Chairman
Os (Program Manager)  Annett and Chairman David

Annett  is a 43 year old widow and mother of 4. She is a labourer and sues that income to pay her her children’s fees. She’s very proud that at least one of them has completed P7. Unfortunately, she cannot afford to send her child to a secondary school so she will be starting to work as a labourer like her in order to support the family. 

Rwentojo

The first training session on Poultry Farm Management and Housing took place on Monday.  some amongst the group were in for a shock. They arrived late for the meeting and fellow participants required them to pay a fine. The group has also decided to form a management committee that will coordinate their affairs. 

Phase 2 is now well and truly underway. Keep an eye on this space for updates

Introducing Night Barema

On this year’s International Women’s Day we launched the Send a Chicken program for 29 women and their families in Ruhanga. The program aimed to provide an asset to ultra poor women that they could use to generate an income and working  capital that they could reinvestment. One of those participants was Night Barema.

Night

Night spoke with one of our Program Managers and here is how they got on,

What is your name and how old are you?

 N: Barema Night and I am 58 years old

Are you married?

N: I am  a widow. My husband passed away 25 years ago

How many children have you got?

N: I have 6 children. They are all out of school. I live with my last born, Anita, who completed Primary 4 and then dropped out.  

night
Night and three of her children. From left to right: Anita (the last born), Mevis and Deivis

What is your level of education?

N:  I didn’t go to school. My father didn’t think educating daughters was important so only the boys were sent to school. Night thinks her father didn’t go to Heaven because of this. 

What was your life like growing up

N: I used to help the family in the gardens and raising animals. I was born in a village in Ntungamo sub-county and moved to Kakiizi when I was married off at the age of 16. I had my first child a year later. 

How did you hear about LTHT?

N: I belonged to Kakiizi post-test which is a group of women concerned about HIV and I found out about LTHT when they called us  for a meeting

Why did you join?

I wanted to be part of the chicken program because I thought it was an opportunity to learn something new and get additional income

What was your income before you joined the chicken program?

 N: I used to make 10,000-20,000 UGX  (£2.43- £4.87 per month)

How did you earn that income?

N: I had a sugar cane garden which I used to take care of and I sold the sugar canes by the road

What did you spend it on?

N:  I spent it on soap, salt, sugar, and other basic needs for the household

What are you currently earning?

N: I am now making 70,000 UGX  (£17.03 a month) from selling the eggs the chickens produce. I am no longer able to take care of the sugar cane garden so I have lost the income from selling sugar canes. 

What percentage of your income is from the selling of eggs?

N: 100%

What has this income allowed you to do that you were not able to do before?

N: I am now saving 9,000 UGX (£2.19) per month and I have bought a goat. I am reinvesting most of my income in buying high quality feeds for her chickens

Do you  consume some of the eggs?

N: No, I haven’t had a single one

Night with her goats
Night with her goats

Why did she buy a goat?

N: I bought a goat because they’re easy to raise and reproduce quite quickly

How do you hope to benefit from the goat program?

N: I would like to crossbreed my female with one of the dairy males so I can start drinking milk as I currently don’t 

What are your  aspirations?

N: I would like to have a more comfortable life, not having to work so hard anymore to cover my family needs. I would like to learn to write and read as I feel I missed  a great opportunity in the past. I would also love learning to speak a bit of English. 

 What do they hope for their children?

N: I hope my children have a better life than me: get a good paying job, have a healthy family and live comfortably.

What changes would you like to see in you country in your lifetime that would affect you or the girls/women that follow?

N: I would like some factories to come to the area to produce sugar from sugar cane or dry pineapples, so jobs would be created and farmers would have easy access to market. I would also like to see more people having access to water. 

 

The goats are here

After weeks of preparation the goats finally arrived.

goats

Keeping them on the truck was not an easy task

Widows waiting for their goats
Widows waiting for their goats. Some of the widows are so elderly, they sent their sons to represent them.

 

deworming
deworming

Before distribution all goats had to be tagged, deworm them, provide a preventative antibiotic treatment to ensure their adjustment to the new area and environment goes smoothly and trim their hoofs.

goat

This is Lydia from Nyamuhani.  Lydia is one of the widows that received a goat from the goat loan project. She is also one of the people looking after one of the bucks for the goat breeding program. Her female goat is mature enough and she was encouraged to keep her together with the male for a couple of days… We may have our first kid on the way pretty soon.

 

Maria
This is Maria from Migorora. Her daughter died right after delivering her baby girl so Maria used goat’s milk to feed her for almost a year. She’s now a beautiful young lady. Maria is the program’s strongest ambassador for this reason.

 

Jovanis

Jovannis is from Kakiizi. She’s got experience raising goats and currently has 2 female goats that she’s hoping they get on heat soon so she can take them to Alejandro one of the  pure breed male our project manager is hosting

Kalanzi from Joy goat

Kalanzi, the JOY goat development trainer, has taught Osbert how to handle the goats for the different treatments – especially hoof trimming and injecting them.

 

follow up training session

Following the goat distribution, there was further training about the care of goats as well as record keeping, in particular how often the goats mate as well as proper feeding.

Keep an eye on this space for updates

 

 

Diary Goat Crossbreeding Program

It has been exciting day in Ruhanga. The goats arrived.

goat
Widows waiting to receive a goat

As well as the goat loan project for widows, we have a dairy goat crossbreeding program. This program will enable owners of local goats in Itojo Sub-County to crossbreed them with purse breeds to produce 50% diary goats which ensure owners can access milk..

goats

This is Ronaldo. he is a 9 months old Saanen  and he will spend the next year and half in the village Kytinda mating goats from Kytinda and Rwentojo

goat
Force

This is Force. He is a 10 month old Toggenburgh. He will spend 18 months in Nyamiko and will mate with goats in Nyamiko, Kibingo and Rwemihanga.

goat
Alejandro

Alejandro is a 10 month Alpine buck.  He will be looked after by Os the program manager and will mate with goats in Migorora, Nyamuhani, Ruhanga and Kakiizi

goats
crossbred females

These are some of the 50% females that were distributed to the widows.

goats

The goats had to dewormed and tagged and treated for stress due to change of environment

goats

The program manager will visit each goat tomorrow and provide a multivitamin shot to ensure proper transition to the new area.

We will provide further updates in the next few days. Keep an eye on this space..

 

Goat project- Training gets underway

The Diary goat project has kicked off in earnest. This week a trainer from Joy Goat Development arrived to provide training to the widows as well as those in the community who will benefit from the crossbreeding program.

goat
Kalenzi- Inspecting a goat shelter

Kalanzi Med, from JOY Goat Development, assessing the buck stations and providing guidance on how to build the feeding platform

Osbert -LTHT Project Manager and Joy Goat expert visiting Maria’s buck station. There is still a bit of work to do on her female goat house but now she’s got the knowledge how to finalise it properly

Osbert

LTHT Project Manager explaining attendees about the type of fodder suitable to grow in our area which they can feed to their goats

Buck -keepers

Buck keeper training session – These guys are the role models of the cross breeding program. They will be responsible to keep our males healthy and active, identifying suitability of goats for mating and are empowered to turn down mating partners if they’re too young, too small or not healthy. 

Buck-keepers photo op

Buck keepers group photo in front of LTHT buck station + male kid collection pen.

In the next village, it was mostly women who turned up for training

Widows' training session

These are the widows who are signed up to the goat project. They will receive a a female halfbreed kid to look after until it gives birth. The grown goat becomes the widow’s personal property and the kids are then passed on to another widow in the group

buck station

We anticipate that some of the kids will be male and this is where they will be looked after

Keep an eye on this space and  our Facebook page for updates

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